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THE JAMAICA EVIDENCE. We propose to give a monthly digest of the facts that may come to light in relation to the “Freed-men.” Our aim will be simply to furnish data for the guidance of practical philanthropists. We invite from all parties communications that may aid us in preparing, from time to time, a correct and lucid representation of the case.
1. The position of Governor Eyre is not changed in any respect by the evidence he has given before the Jamaica commission. He has supplied no proofs of a wide-spread rebellion. Baron Ketelholdt wrote to the Governor on the 11th of October last, to tell him that a serious outbreak among certain of the labouring population in the neighbourhood of Morant Bay was threatened, and in fact had commenced.
For the first time we now learn that Paul Bogle also wrote to Governor Eyre. This letter was not produced to the commission, but we are informed that it was signed by twelve associates of Paul Bogle, and that the purport of it was to inform the Governor of the disturbances which had taken place on the Saturday previous, throwing the blame upon the police, assuring the Governor that those who signed the letter were good and loyal subjects of the Queen, and entreating him to send down some one to protect them; otherwise, as they had been suffering under great grievances and oppressions for the last twenty-seven years, they must put their own shoulders to the wheel. Governor Eyre said it was too late to make the enquiry requested by these thirteen men, but he kept their names and ultimately caught them all. On the strength of this letter of admonition they were pronounced to be rebels and put to death. We have lost for ever therefore the testimony any of them might have given, if respited only for a few months, as to the grievances and oppressions of which they complained. The boy who brought the letter ran away, but was eventually found and then flogged for bringing it. “So I returned,” says the preacher, “and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun : and, behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power : but they had no comforter."
Camden Road 75 76 Dr. Kitching
Winchmore Hill 77 M. D. Conway
Notting Hill 78 F. Wheeler
Rochester 79 Name unknown
London 80 Society for the Improvement
of the Labouring Classes ... Bloomsbury 81 M. Armistead
Reigato 82 Congregational Church, per Rev. M. Collet
Ryde 83 84 Friends' Committee, per M. Coventry
Wandsworth 85 Per R. Alsop
Stoke Newington 86 87 Rowley and Davis
London 88 Rachel Maw
Needham Market 89 Rachel and Catherine Bur.
lington 90 T. Smith and J. Doubleday Coggeshall 91 Name unknown
No address 92 Knight
Colchester 93 Congregational Church, per
Dr. Massie, and the Rev.
Southampton 96 J. Doubleday and Friends Halstead 97 Thomas Hall
Brighton 98 Books for Levi Cofin 99 Tweedie
Strand 100 Piper
Highgate 101 Doyle
Downham Market 102 Piper
Highgate 103 J. Alexander
Ipswich 104 Gow and Butler
Friday Street, London 105 Friends, per. L.J. Evans Margate 106 107 Ladies' Association, per M. Braithwaite
Camden Road 108 109 110 Ladies' Committee
Harecourt Chapel 112 E. Clements
Keppell Street, London 113 M. Armistead
Paokage. 114 Working Meeting, per L. Ran.
Casa 116 .John Clutton
Parcel 117 Working Party
Trinity Church, Littlo Queen
... Package 118 Name unknown
No address 119 120 C. Alsop
Barrel 121 122 Adelphi Chapel, per Rev. A. Ramsey Hackney Road
Chest 123 Mrs. Guest
Taunton 124 Ladies of ghbury Wesleyan Chapel, per Mrs. Webster... Highbury
Parcel 125 126 127 M. Armistead
Barrel 128 Name unknown
Parcel 129 Rev. H. Smith
Penge 130 Ladies of Free St. John's Con
gregational Church, per
Case 131 Panmure Street Congrega
tional Church, per Rev. R.
Tay Square, Dundee 135 Ladies of Congregational
Church, per Rev. Rogers' Broughty Ferry, Dundee Truss 136 Free St. Paul's Congregational Church, per Mrs. Keiller... Dundee
Case 137 138
Truss 139 Rer, M. Spence's Congregation 140 Free West Congregational
Church, per Rev. Lyon Broughty Ferry, Dundee Barrel 141
Bale 143 R. Dale
Parcel 144 Congregational Church, per Rev. M. Collet
Ryde 145 H. M. Reynolds
Bale 146 Castle Street Congregational
Governor Eyre delegated the supreme power to the military authorities. “I gave no directions,” he says, “ to any one as to how they were to act during martial law, as I understood that the supreme power was invested in the military.”
2. GENERAL Jackson appeared before the commission as the chief representative of British authority in Jamaica, in the proclaimed districts. The terms in which this military commander describes himself, are not such as to warrant the belief that a despised race would receive from him impartial justice: “If Colonel Hobbs, an officer, a sergeant, and a private of the 6th regiment were called butchers, then I General Jackson, am a double butcher." On some account the General lost self-command in court, and was called to order by the commissioners; “I don't want you to teach me,” he replied, “I am a Major General of her Majesty's army.” The offended commander left the court, and in consequence we are deprived of the benefit of the evidence he might have given, if he could have ruled his own spirit.
3. MR. ARTHUR WARMINGTON, a magistrate of St. Thomas-in-the-East, and President of the court martial was examined. He acted for some time as a guide to a detachment of the 6th regiment, under the command of Captain Hole. In his first examination he stated that while acting in that capacity, between the 15th October and the 3rd of November, he saw some thirty or forty men flogged without being tried by court martial, some of whom received five, some a hundred and ten, and a few one hundred and fifty lashes, but he then denied that he had seen any one shot without trial ; afterwards he remembered that, in making the statement, he had committed an error. Mr. Warmington was recalled at his own request, and said “I found eight or ten bodies on the main road between Long Bay to Manchioneal, shot by the 1st West Indian regiment; a body of ten who galloped away from the rest killed them; I heard two or three more were found ; they were killed without court martial, one man was shot by Captain Hole without court martial, I recognized him, he broke into my house." It is remarkable that Mr. Warmington should have forgotten in his first examination, circumstances connected with such particular associations. MR. W. P. KIRKLAND, a magistrate said: “I sentenced the women from ten to twenty-five and the men to not more than fifty lashes. I employed an old soldier of the 2nd West India Regiment to make the cats. They were made with twine at first, but afterwards with thin pieces of wire. After the women were flogged, they were worked on the road and fed with ground provisions and fish.” Ramsay flogged several of the prisoners himself—about fifteen.” Joseph Marsh said the regimental cats were used for women.
MR. BICKNELL a police magistrate of Kingston, who was present at many of of the trials said : “ I was struck with the summary manner in which the business was disposed of. I don't remember that the prisoners were allowed to send for witnesses, the charges were read to them. I don't remember that they were asked to plead guilty or not guilty.”
4. The evidence given respecting Provost Marshal Ramsay seems to indicate that no person had greater authority than himself; during the military rules his
sway for a time was uncontrolled. Mr. Espent, who was on the court martial, said, that on one occasion, a woman was tried and sentenced to death, with a recommendation that her life inight be spared, but she was hung notwithstanding. Mr. Ramsay was unwilling to lose a single victim.
For the present it may be judicious to reserve the story of the people who have to recite their wrongs; it may be supposed that those who have seen their nearest kindred slain before their own eyes, with no power to offer resistance, may exaggerate to some extent. Besides this, some of them may have been implicated in the fearful tragedy at Morant Bay. Though the evidence given before the commissioners has fully disproved the statements at first given as to the worst atrocities imputed to the rioters, yet the guilt of the outbreak remains, and we shall be safer in giving attention to the witnesses on the side of the authorities, before we listen even to the cries of the oppressed. We take therefore next in the order of sequence the evidence of Peter Bruce, the officer selected by Mr. Ramsay to execute his orders. Mr. Bruce describes vividly the commencement of their proceedings in the name of her Majesty : “ The maroons came and brought prisoners. Ramsay came and said, “Martial law is proclaimed. God save the Queen.' I was appointed acting provost marshal, I went to the police station at Bath, where persons were charged with having stolen goods. Ramsay ordered them to be flogged. Whilst they were being flogged, Ramsay was beating them with supple jack. Every one with plunder received fifty lashes, imputed murderers a hundred lashes and to be sent to Morant Bay (for trial). I was ordered to make a cat, and showed it to Mr. Kirkland the magistrate; it was too light; I was ordered to make another with wire in it. From six in the morning to six at night we were flogging; the smallest number given was thirty lashes; women also were flogged.” With more consideration than might have been expected from such men some of the women in a state of expectant maternity were spared after examination of the case. “Women,” continues the acting provost marshal “got a dozen each: I was left to see if they deserved punishment, and it was left to me to see who deserved to be flogged, but I always referred to Kirkland. He gave me liberty to give them what they deserved, but I did not take it upon myself. There was no doctor. The women were also flogged with a regimental cat. Every man was flogged with a wire
When they objected to the cat they gave me piano wire to put it into the cat; more than nine pieces of wire were put into it. Constables were employed to make the cats while we were flogging, four knots in each thong being wire mixed with cord. The constable flogged. I said to my friends this is more than I ever see;' the cats were in my room, and after martial law, the maroon said Colonel Fyfe sent for them and had them burnt.” We are sorry for this, but we honour the sense of burning shame that prompted the act. We should like to have shown them to the women of Great Britain, for we must remember